Nov. 17, 2002
By Josh Griffin, Sports Editor
The Santa Clara
Junior middle blocker Becky Potter is one of the first All-American candidates in the history of Santa Clara volleyball. In her third year, she has helped the program reach its highest ever position in the NCAA rankings. Potter took a few minutes to discuss her potential All-American status, the program's development, her choreography hobby and this weekend's showdown with WCC rival Pepperdine.
JG: How proud are you of the development and accomplishments of the Santa Clara volleyball program?
BP: Actually, my dad told me that Santa Clara had a good program. I had never really heard much about it. But back then there was a different coaching staff, and adding [Coach] Jon [Wallace] totally changed the dynamic. We reached our highest ranking my freshman year, so it's great to be breaking that again as a junior.
JG: So is your dad a Santa Clara guy?
BP: No he didn't go here, but he's in the know with college volleyball. Or at least he thinks he is.
JG:What other schools did you consider?
BP: USD was one of my main choices, but not going there was one of the best choices that I ever made. I also considered USC and Santa Barbara.
JG:How do you feel about the fan support for the volleyball team, especially considering that you play during the soccer season?
BP: The past years haven't been great, but this year has been incredible. People came out to our first game versus San Jose St. and realized that it's a fun game to watch. We're getting to break some attendance records. Also, I think the Leavey Center has helped a lot. We played in Malley my freshman year and it fit about 10 people comfortably. It's a totally different atmosphere now.
JG:What kind of pressure do you feel associated with being an All-American candidate?
BP: There really is a lot of pressure, but I think I thrive on it. Fortunately, after Kelli Sousa was named WCC Player of the Week, she is starting to get consideration as well, so we can talk about it and go through it together. It's a heavy load, but it's fun and something new for Santa Clara.
JG:Last time I talked with the Hirsch sisters, they told me about the pre-game dance. Are you in any way responsible for this?
BP: I made up last year's dance with my roommate Claire. But this year, the same people made it up as last.
JG:What else do you do to get prepared for matches?
BP: I am a very superstitious person, like most of the other people on the team. On the way to games, Kelli and I listen to the same music. During the warm-ups for the other team, I sit on the bench with my head in my hands thinking about the game. Jon calls it 'visualization.'
JG:I'm sure you are very busy with practice and school, but what do you do in your spare time?
BP: I am a big TV watcher.
JG:What are your favorite shows?
BP: I really like 'Friends,' 'E.R.' and 'The Simpsons.' My friends joke around that whenever the TV is on I'm in the zone. Some of them think I have ADD. JG: Many great ones do.
JG:Any bold and daring predictions for this weekend's matches?
BP: I really think we are a different team than the last time we played Pepperdine. We can win in five games. I definitely think it would be tough to sweep a team as good as Pepperdine. The difficult thing to remember is that, win or lose, we have to bounce back and play a tough Loyola Marymount team on Saturday night. That will be the biggest challenge. But the game against Pepperdine should not make or break our season.
JG:What are your goals for the NCAA Tournament?
BP: We definitely want to finish in the top 16. This year, if we can defeat Loyola Marymount and California to close out the season, we would almost guarantee hosting games in the tournament. If we do that, we should be able to reach the final eight.